With Bethel cancelled due to a forecast of snow and the weatherman predicting rain and snow for NY City, it didn't auger well for the CP race this AM. I get up @ 4AM and let the dog out and it's pissing rain. "F This Today" I tell myself. But I have my coffee. "Maybe I'll try it" I conclude and I get in the car. In the first five miles I almost turn around 3x, then I figure (like last week), 'What the hell'.
I get to Manhattan and it's barely drizzling, the roadway is damp, but all things considered the conditions are remarkably benign. The turnout however is very light. This means that the typical 60 man vets peloton will be 35 guys, the hardest core guys, i.e., it will be very easy to get shelled today. The race begins. I'm hoping they'll take it easy on the first lap to test the slick tarmac, instead it is:
Fastest lap in CP for me in a long time, after the 110th Street hill the pace accelerated. That was Pcad's Spot of Bother today, almost came off, looked up, I was getting gapped, figured I'd keep the watts going for another 45 secs in the hopes they would slow down, they did, I regrouped. After that I was pretty much OK for the whole race. I can't tell you how fast we were going, I never looked @ my speedo, I was trying not to crash all day, good race, zero incidents, very smooth. But the surface was very slick, at one point my Zipp hit a bump and when it came back down it didn't have great traction. Yikes. P.S., it started pissing rain moderately hard halfway through the race, so it was a horse manure car wash for laps 3/4.
Even went to the front on lap three to block for my team mates (we had two guys up the road). Bottom line: break of 4 chased by a group of 3, we had a man in each group, they placed 4th (my good pal Don) and 5th (my other pal Gary). Pcad finished mid pack in the tiny sub-20 man remaining peloton (a bunch of guys got shelled on lap one today, including my pal/teammate Nelson, who placed on the track in the 40+ nationals, he's very fast, but not in shape yet).
Another week of dread (like Frodo about to enter Mordor) that turned into a very positive race experience. And all I had to do was show up. Actually I went down today because it pissed me off that I got shelled in the wet CP race last year. I wanted to finish this one. Mission accomplished. You can't get better at racing unless you race. I may suck at this, but that peloton is a friggin rush. Man those boys are fast. That's three races, no DNFs or DFLs and no crashes. Yet.